Preserving endangered species and their habitats is not as simple as merely establishing protected areas. Often these areas are also home to rural populations and challenges posed by these communities can include habitat destruction due to agricultural expansion as well as hunting of protected species for food. Where at-risk species and habitats coexists with local populations, conservation strategies that do not account for these communities’ need for food security, income, good health, education and a good future are bound to encounter conflict and often fail to achieve their missions.
At New Course we do not view these communities as a hindrance to conservation goals; rather, we are experienced in engaging local women and communities as partners in conservation, working to ensure the preservation of endangered species and threatened ecosystems while also fostering secure, sustainable livelihoods for community members. We recognize that where communities are not fully engaged, long-term success is not attainable as communities may return to unsustainable practices, even illegally, if alternative livelihood opportunities are not created. By engaging all stakeholders, especially women, in natural resource management and governance we are able to greatly increase the effectiveness and long-term success of conservation interventions while also building resilient, sustainable communities.